Bolton urges Republicans to 'purge the taint of Trumpism'

Bolton called Trump an “aberration in American politics” and pushed back on the idea that the entire Republican Party was responsible for Trump’s behavior and the repeated breakdown of norms.

“I don’t think you can attribute Trump to anyone else,” Bolton said. “I think it’s just more politics in Washington to blame everyone else. The focus here should be on the real problem, the center of the problem, and that’s Donald Trump.

Bolton urged Republicans to be more rigorous in selecting their presidential candidates, ensuring they have “real character” and “a real philosophy as opposed to people like Donald Trump”.

When asked if he felt Republicans backing Trump’s false claims of widespread electoral errors – the driving ideology behind Wednesday’s Capitol attack – Bolton said he saw “no reason why they should not be held accountable”. Tur specifically asked about Sens. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz who led the Senate’s efforts to question the Electoral College results, but Bolton declined to make individual judgments.

“I think individual Republicans have decisions to make as to whether to support people who took part in these efforts to prevent the election from being certified. And I think much remains to be seen of their behavior,” Bolton said.

Bolton spoke of his dismay at the Trump White House. In his post-mortem book The Room Where it Happened, Bolton depicted Trump as unfamiliar with basic facts and, above all, re-elected – which often resulted in cases that Bolton said warranted a 2019 impeachment probe. The White House tried to stop the book from being published in court at the time, but was unsuccessful. The book was published last June.

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